So I read The Shining, as per recommendation from my husband. I’m not a horror buff nor am I a Stephen King groupie, but I know it’s an iconic book so I figured – why not.
As Stephen King’s 3rd book and 1st bestseller, The Shining embodied his style. I put the book down many times, it’s length and wordiness making me tired. Once I finished, I had a whole bunch of scenes and thoughts and who knows what in my head.
And then I watched the movie, and I realized that every single one of those sentences, every scene, every whisper, mattered. Unlike in Under The Dome, where each person’s tragedy was in a way it’s own, this was like a train slowly approaching the end of the line. The movie was nothing more than photographs of book chapters. I have never been so glad to watch a movie after reading a book.
Last year I watched The Giver movie adaptation and then read the book. It was so well done I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better transition. Then there was The Host, where I read the book first and then watched the movie, which felt rushed and empty. I’ve also watched Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and my brain cried in horror and disappointment at such a sincere novel becoming a joke. Ugh.
I think we forget just how many movies out there have been based on books. Some have been done dozens of times, like Sherlock Holmes. What about Dracula and Frankenstein? Phantom of the Opera? I would even lump the comic book movies in there. The castings for Iron Man, Thor, Captain America – absolutely fantastic. The total embodiment of the characters. It does work, sometimes.
When I read, I see the story in my head like a movie. I see my book like a movie. I hope that if I ever get a chance to make it a reality, I can translate it the way I see it, and I get to do it right.